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  • OHB concepts for active space debris removal and on-orbit servicing

    Paper number



    Mr. Gerrit Hausmann, OHB System AG - Munich, Germany


    Mr. Richard Haarmann, OHB System AG - Munich, Germany


    Mr. Matthias Wieser, OHB System AG-Bremen, Germany


    Mr. André Brito, OHB System AG, Germany


    Mr. Marc Scheper, OHB System AG-Bremen, Germany



    Having recognized the importance of active debris removal and the promising future business of on-‎orbit servicing, OHB System is currently working on the whole range of technology- and system ‎related issues necessary to address these intertwined topics.‎
    In doing, so, OHB System draws on a long heritage of national, international and commercial ‎developments of technologies and missions. On the technology side, OHB System’s Munich site ‎‎(previously Kayser-Threde) was involved in the ROKVISS mission to qualify robotic arm joints ‎onboard the ISS. For vision-based navigation, the VIBANASS system has been developed and ‎tested. OHB System has further been responsible for the robotic payload of SMART-OLEV. ‎Regarding mission development, in DEOS Phase B, OHB System was responsible for the study lead ‎and for the rendezvous & docking payload. In phase B2, OHB System developed the target ‎spacecraft and the docking mechanism. In ESA’s study of a service-oriented approach to ADR ‎‎(ADRS), both mission concepts and business models were studied.‎
    Regarding more recent and ongoing activities, the system aspects of space debris removal have ‎been studied by OHB System in the e.Deorbit mission phase A, which was completed in early 2015. ‎In this context, a mission for the removal of very large space debris objects has been studied and ‎successfully brought beyond PRR level. To further study the challenging capture tools required, a ‎specific study on novel tentacle-based clamping mechanisms has been performed. Additionally, an ‎internally funded R&D project has been kicked off in cooperation with DLR to develop key elements ‎of the robotic manipulators. Finally, the servicing aspect of refueling is being studied in the ASSIST ‎project including the design, manufacturing and test of a breadboard for the refueling adapter.‎
    This paper presents a comprehensive summary of OHB System’s current on-orbit servicing and ‎active debris removal activities, including key results and status of all ongoing mission and ‎technology development projects.‎
    DEOS was funded by the German DLR Space Administration. ADRS, the tentacle-based clamping ‎mechanisms and the e.Deorbit mission phase A have been funded by ESA. The development of ‎OLEV was performed with internal financing and co-funding from ESA and the DLR Space ‎Administration. VIBANASS was funded internally and co-funded by the DLR Space Administration ‎‎(50RA1001) and carried out in cooperation with ‎the DLR ‎Institute for Mechatronics and Robotics and ‎the DLR Institute for ‎Space Operations and Astronaut Training‎. ASSIST is an ESA funded activity, ‎lead by GMV.‎
    Abstract document


    Manuscript document

    IAC-15,A6,6,6,x30177.pdf (🔒 authorized access only).

    To get the manuscript, please contact IAF Secretariat.